The great glow of the sky enchants Great Britain
Suddenly the skies in Britain became purple, red and green. What’s behind it?
London. Normally, the Northern Lights in Great Britain can only be seen in Scotland, but now the colorful lights have enchanted large parts of the UK. The Met Office said there were confirmed sightings of the aurora borealis in central and eastern England overnight.
A very special glow in the sky also sparked excitement: Steve painted a bright purple stripe in the night sky in Northern Ireland, among other places.
STEVE stands for “Strong Enhancement of Thermal Emission Velocity” and is reminiscent of the aurora, but it behaves differently and occurs at lower latitudes. The reason was a solar storm that caused unusual light phenomena in northern Europe.
Solar activity has increased in recent months and more solar storms have formed. The northern lights could already be seen over Great Britain and Ireland on Saturday evening – as far south as Stonehenge, as a photo on X’s official account of the Stone Age monument in southern England showed. The northern lights have been seen several times in Germany recently.
How does the phenomenon arise?
The reason is solar flares, which lead to what is called a coronal mass ejection towards the Earth, which consists of electrons, protons and atomic nuclei. Because the plasma components are electrically charged, they interact with the Earth’s magnetic field and essentially compress it.
Magnetic short circuits in the tail of Earth’s magnetic field generate streams of particles in the polar regions, causing air molecules to glow, which becomes visible as the aurora borealis.
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